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June 27, 2014

New minister looks to rebuild congregation at First Presbyterian

DUNCAN — The Rev. Kathy Vineyard, one of the first female Presbyterian ministers, has found a home at Duncan’s First Presbyterian Church.

From the Dallas/ Fort Worth, Texas area, Vineyard has ministered in Duncan since May 2014. The reverend has over 36 years of experience in ministry and has pastored 11 churches.

“I’ve pastored churches as an interemin associate pastor and spent the past 10 years as an interim pastor. My last call was to First Presbyterian Church in Killeen, Texas,” she said. “Now, I am delighted to be here in Duncan.”

Her family decided to make the move after her husband retired as a pharmacist after 35 years.   

“We were at the Kileen church and decided to end there,” said Vineyard. “We began looking for a call. He was born and raised in Lawton, so it seemed like a natural move for us. Everything just fit in along the way. I applied not even knowing where Duncan was”

While Vineyard knew little of Oklahoma, she immediately fell in love with the congregation at First Presbyterian Church during her first interview, she said.

“This is a wonderful and positive congregation,” said Vineyard. “They are looking to rebuild their congregation and attract younger members. We are very seriously engaging in strategies in moving forward as a church.”

To reach younger members, the minister plans to create programs targeted towards youth. The church’s newest program is a mini-vacation Bible school called Summer Stars that will run July 8 -10. Vineyard said she only sees more programs for the future.

“I was standing in the hallway the other day and heard a member say ‘I’ve always wanted to start  a men’s Bible study.’ I said ‘Why not.’ The idea has snowballed since then. We are starting a men’s Bible study the first Wednesday of every month. They are going to be studying about heaven.”

The church also plans to become more involved in the community by helping others with financial counseling and other programs.

Vineyard said she enjoys meeting and helping others. Her favorite pastime includes visiting members who are unable to attend church. She often visits congregation members at the hospital and in nursing homes.

“For some reason, it makes me feel very happy, fulfilled and joyful,” she said. “I’ve only been in the hospital for my children’s births, but I remember how important it was that my friends in ministry came by and visited. The nurses probably thought I had a problem since I had all these ministers around me.”

Although she has only lived in Duncan for two months now, she has come to love the town and its people.

“This is a very loving faith community,” she said. “They love one another. They are very welcoming, nurturing, and  positive. They are wonderful people to be around. They also love Jesus Christ and help people in their daily lives to be healed and transformed. I think it is just a wonderful. It’s nice to be in a small town and know everybody.”

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